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Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs signs agreement with Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians to assist tribal veterans

Written by on December 8, 2023

Salem, Ore., — The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs signed a formal agreement with the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians on November 29, that will provide a framework for collaboration and increased resources dedicated to supporting the Tribe’s veterans in accessing their earned federal and state veterans’ benefits.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by ODVA Interim Director Dr. Nakeia Council Daniels and Cow Creek Umpqua Chairman Carla Keene, with tribal government leaders and representatives, tribal veterans, and ODVA staff gathered to commemorate the historic partnership. The formal signing was hosted at the Cow Creek Umpqua Tribal Government Office in Roseburg.

“This monumental partnership will help ensure veterans and members of the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians will receive the same high-quality, trustworthy and timely level of service as any other veteran in our state, from a trained and certified Tribal Veteran Service Officer who understands their unique experiences and cultural identity,” said Dr. Daniels. 

“The power of having someone who knows you and who comes from where you come from, or is connected to where you come from, cannot be understated. It matters. We at ODVA are so grateful for the leadership of Chairman Keene and her Tribal Board of Directors who have made this historic partnership possible.”

“Today, our agencies partner together with a shared mission: to recognize and care for those who have served our country. Our military veterans have provided a profound service to our community, and we join together today to support and honor them,” said Chairman Keene. “To all the veterans and service members, thank you for your service to your community, the United States of America and for protecting the liberty each of us enjoy every day as Americans and Native Americans.”

The agreement establishes the new position of Tribal Veterans Service Officer (TVSO) within the Cow Creek Umpqua Tribal Government. The TVSO will be part of the newly established Veterans Services Program housed within the Cultural Resources Department. The position will be jointly funded by the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, to serve the nearly 6 percent of the Cow Creek Umpqua tribal population who identify as veterans.

This Memorandum of Understanding is ODVA’s fourth with Oregon’s nine federally recognized Tribes, including the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. 

Oregon’s statewide network of County and Tribal Veteran Service Offices are collaborative partnerships between the state and counties, or Tribal governments and deliver free local access to veteran benefits for veterans and their families. Tribal Veteran Service Officers (TVSOs) are trained by ODVA and then accredited by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs through a series of regular trainings facilitated by both agencies. TVSOs provide a wide variety of benefits and services to veterans and their family members, including the development and submission of claims to the federal VA for earned veteran benefits.

The position of TVSO is currently open to qualified applicants on the employment page of the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians website, To learn more about veteran benefits, resources and services near you, or to schedule a session with your local Veteran Service Officer, visit the website of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs at

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